Life in the Ranch
Posted on September 1, 2017
Rancho Santa Fe is many different things: A private, safe place to raise a family or retire. A California landmark, rich with history, and favorite destination for everyone from Hollywood heavy-hitters to heads of state. A playground for those privileged to enjoy all its amenities under a warm, shining sun, and cooled by gentle ocean breezes. For those who live here, though, it is 6.8 square miles of beautiful, country haven that they feel fortunate to call home.
The longtime real estate developer first began working in the Ranch in 1978 and has been a resident of Fairbanks Ranch since 1985. Though no longer involved in active projects in the area, as president of Watt Industries San Diego, Davis created Fairbanks Ranch and the neighboring villages (Montecito, Stratford, and Senterra). In developing Fairbanks Ranch Country Club, he worked closely with the Los Angeles Olympic Committee to bring the Speed and Endurance Equestrian Event of the 1984 Olympics to San Diego. The avid gardener seizes every opportunity to appreciate the beauty of the outdoors. “I love taking long walks throughout the community, particularly on the trails and along the stream and adjacent to the lake in Fairbanks Ranch. I am clearly enthralled with the abundance of vegetation which absolutely enhances the overall environment and adds to the quality of life in the region,” he says. “We are very blessed and privileged to live in such a special place. Its location, weather, community character, services, and diversity of residents make it unique and distinctive.”
Executive Director, Rancho Santa Fe Community Center
“I feel very fortunate to be part of a town that’s not only known for its beauty but also for the generous spirit of its residents and business owners who care so much about the community’s needs,” says Linda Durket. “When I joined the Community Center in 2010 I fell in love with the quaint vibe of the village.
I was surprised at how everyone I walked by smiled and said hello, and I’m still impressed by the friendly nature of the families I meet daily.” When shopping in the village, she prefers The Country Squire for gifts and The Country Friends for home décor. “From vintage vases to dining room sets, they have it all,” she says. Quiet time is reading in a cozy chair at the library or checking out the Book Cellar, and when it’s time for a bite in the village, Morada’s Spring Vegetable Pot Pie is tops on her list. Durket adds, “There’s always some activity on The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe’s front lawn and I love that children are welcome to play there.”
Co-Owner, McNally Company Antiques
Connie McNally has a long history with the Ranch. “The first time I came to Rancho Santa Fe in 1962, I thought I had died and gone to heaven seeing all the equestrian trails, eucalyptus trees, and the serenity of a quaint town filled with shops,” McNally recalls. Since moving here and opening their gallery more than 27 years ago, she and husband, Bill, have been an integral part of the community. Her favorite local pastimes include both outdoor and indoor activities. “We love riding our horses on the miles of wonderful trails, or talking art history in my gallery with our wonderful and interesting clients,” she says. Regulars at Mille Fleurs for the past 30 years, you also may see her lunching at Thyme in the Ranch, Rancho Santa Fe Bistro, or The Inn. Although she loves the Ranch, the dwindling number of shops concerns her. “We need a market. Without one, we are not a village. We also need more retail shops, parking, and vitality brought back to our village,” she says.
Manager, Rancho Santa Fe Association
Although a newcomer to Rancho Santa Fe, Bob Hall already likes what he sees. “The Covenant in Rancho Santa Fe is San Diego County’s most unique and beautiful community. With its rolling hills, winding streets, expansive wooded properties, and Spanish Colonial Revival architecture, it’s a lovely place to enjoy via car, bike, a hike, or on horseback,” Hall says. He’s already picked out a favorite spot. “I love the Rancho Santa Fe Golf Club. There’s no better seat in all of the Ranch than a table on the patio overlooking the course,” he says. When not perched in a seat at the club, Hall enjoys walking the quiet streets in the village. “The heart of Rancho Santa Fe was designed about 90 years ago, and it is as charming and inviting as it was generations ago,” he says. But he’s not all nostalgia. He is looking forward to bringing high-speed fiber-optic Internet service to the Covenant, which he claims will be more than 100 times faster than the average residential Internet service in California.
Real Estate Agent, Linda Sansone & Associates
Premium property realtor Linda Sansone’s favorite kind of Rancho Santa Fe day starts with an early morning run before the town wakes up. Or perhaps she’ll squeeze in some time at Rancho Valencia for yoga or Pilates, or a walk with her two Brussels Griffon pups, Buddy and Gussy, along one of the Ranch’s many trails. When it comes to dining, Sansone’s favorite Ranch restaurant is Mille Fleurs, which has “the best food and service.” Of course, things have changed since Sansone moved here from Boston 20 years ago, but the core benefits remain the same for her. “What I love about Rancho Santa Fe is how one can escape the busy world we live in to peacefulness and serenity,” says Sansone. “We have the perfect weather in a rural community with beautiful landscape and some very private estates, top notch schools, great golf courses, and seven minutes to the best beaches. It’s a close community feel with some really wonderful philanthropic homeowners,” she says.
Photography by Vincent Knakal